Monday, 20 December 2010

It's a long time I've been on here, so much happening

I have neglected this blog for ages, mainly because of work and being so busy, I don't have time to write it anymore. I have two new websites, mainly for photo galleries.
I managed to travel to Santiago, Chile for the final ever Faith No More reunion show which was beyond amazing. What an adventure! I met lots of great people as well as seeing Secret Chiefs 3 live (on the day I actually arrived in Chile, it was exhausting!), Primus and Faith No More. It was my 15th Faith No More show in 15 years, very emmotional. Obviously, like so many other fans, I am hoping that this really isn't the band's last ever performance together, but only time will tell.

The full galleries of photo from the show, which took place at the Bicentenario La Florida in Santiago on Sunday December 5th, can be viewed here:

There are more photos from the Faith No More reunion shows than on any other website.

Photos of other bands can be seen here:

Live shots of Primus and Secret Chiefs 3 from in Santiago can be viewed there.

Mike Patton onstage in Santiago, Chile. Sunday December 5th. 2010.

Les Claypool from Primus

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Sonisphere shenanigans and Reading festival

I wrote a whole long review of Sonisphere on here, but then my internet got cut off and nothing was saved. I can't be bothered to write it all out again as I don't get the time anymore to update this blog like I used to, so go here to read a full feature of Sonisphere, including photos and reviews:

For all the photos I took at Sonisphere and Reading festival 2010, there are a few here:

and the whole lot are in my galleries here:

Till Lindemann from Rammstein sets the stage alight (almost!) on Saturday July 21st, 2010.
Till Lindemann
Rammstein walking onto the main stage.
Jerry and Jacoby from Papa Roach backstage.
Alice Cooper holding up his severed head!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Wroclaw, Poland for Mike Patton's Mondo Cane July 22nd

I'd been to Poland before to photograph a Simple Plan show and that was back in November 2008 in Warsaw. Wroclaw is a much better looking city than Warsaw, historic university city and I really enjoyed it, apart from the sweaty heat! I couldn't get over how damn hot it was! I stayed at the lovely Monopol hotel in the centre of Wroclaw, a hotel I chose because of the swimming pool and spa and the fact that Marlene Dietrich and Pablo Picasso have both been past guests ( I later got told that Adolf Hitler had also stayed there!). I had no idea until the day after I arrived that Mike Patton was also staying in the same hotel, because I never bumped into him or any of the Italian Mondo Cane musicians around the hotel and I had arrived two days before to explore Wroclaw and make the most of using the hotel spa.
Unfortunately due to the disorganisation of certain people to do with the festival that Mike Patton's Mondo Cane were performing for, I didn't manage to get a photo pass and it was rather a nightmare. I was aware that large cameras were not allowed into the concert, which was set on a lovely island just off the city centre on the river, but most of us attending had no idea that NO cameras were allowed at all and I was furious. I still managed to get my camera smuggled in and tried to take some photos, but without much luck as security were assholes and it was impossible. The standing tickets were cheap, but we found out why they were so cheap, as it was just a rather cramped standing area located either side of the stage and seating was obviously all in front. I still got a good spot, but the view wasn't great, as Mike stood behind a couple of the musicians and we couldn't see him that well. The view didn't matter so much when he started to sing, as it was so flawless and emmotional that some of the songs almost moved me to tears.
Mike had been rehearsing all afternoon and ever since he arrived. It was the first date of the Mondo Cane tour, he was rather stressed out, but didn't show it during the performance at all. The songs were sung in flawless Italian and although I missed the usual eccentric crazy behaviour that he's so famed for during Fantomas Tomahawk and Faith No More performances, there was lack of that in Mondo Cane, but the megaphone (favourite Patton prop!) still made an appearance! It was like nothing else Mike Patton has ever done, totally unique and wonderful with the full orchestra.
The atmosphere was calm and intense. Beautiful songs, all sung beautifully. Mike sung twenty-two songs altogether, inlcuding two after a short break for an encore, when everyone left the stage and returned for the last couple of songs.

Setlist was as follows

Il Cielo in una Stanza
Che Notte
Ore d'amore
20km al Giorno
Quello Che Contu
Urlo Negro
Legata ad un Gronello di Sabbia
Deep Down
Pine, Fucile ed Occhiali
L'uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare
Ma L'amore no
Ti Offro da Bere
Dio Come ti Amo
Storia d'amore
Lontano, Lontano
O Venezia
Sole Malato

The fountains in the Market Square in the centre of Wroclaw.

Mike Patton performing onstage in Wroclaw, Poland. These photos were taken with my Panasonic Lumix and my shots are always much better than this, but because security were so strict about any photos at all during this concert (they even stopped anyone using their mobile phone cameras!) it was impossible to get decent photos.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Athens trip to see Bad Religion and Faith No More - again!

After returning to London Heathrow airport from Bilbao via Madrid, I literally only just made it onto my flight to Athens, having had a delayed flight from Madrid. It was well worth the rush and arriving in Athens at 3.30am Greece time! I was so exhausted, but after arriving at my hotel at around 5.00am, I went to bed for a few hours, then got up and lay in the sunshine by the rooftop pool at the very nice Metropolitan Hotel. I made it into a mini holiday, which was the idea. Get some sun and rock 'n' roll in the evening.
Luckily, the venue for the one day Ejekt Festival was changed from the Olympic Fencing Stadium to The Olympic Tae Kwon Do arena which was just 15 minutes walk from my hotel.

This time it was too short notice for me to get a photo pass for the show, as I only decided to go to Athens a couple of weeks before and booked the flights and hotel package before I even knew whether I could get on the guest list, but I was all sorted out by the Ejekt press man and crew, so thank you to them I was still allowed to bring my camera into the venue and take some photos from at the front of the barrier without getting kicked by moshers!

Bad Religion were the first band I saw when I arrived, celebrating their 30th anniversary, the Californian punk icons were as energetic as always and performed an ultimate Bad Religion greatest hits setlist. They played about 30 songs (but of course, most of their songs are very short anyway), opening with Do What You Want and saving most of the best for last with American Jesus and finishing with Sorrow. I couldn't get many good shots of them, as Greg always moves around so much anyway. Faith No More opened with Midnight Cowboy, which I was glad about because in Bilbao it was Reunited. The setlist was similar to Bilbao BBK Live, but of course like with any Faith No More performance it was mixed around again and there were some differences and a surprise double encore with As The Worm Turns and then Prisina, when Mike did the Greek thing and smashed up plates (an old Greek tradition usually practised at large weddings and wealthy family dinner parties). With the usual Patton stage mischief and the pleasure of hearing Pristina being sung again, it was probably even more enjoyable than their Bilbao set.

Mike Patton holding one of the plates he smashed onto the stage floor at the end of the Athens Ejekt Festival concert.

Greg Graffin of Bad Religion, with Jay Bentley in the background. Below: Bad Religion onstage at Ejekt in Athens

Me with Mike Patton the morning after the Ejekt concert as everyone was leaving our hotel for the airport. The same thing happened in Adelaide after Soundwave festival! Good luck timing!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Bilbao BBK Live Festival

Overseas festival time yet again and this July I chose to go to Spain for the BBK Live festival in Bilbao. Mainly because not only because Bilbao is such a lovely Spannish city on the North coast of Spain in the Basque country, but because this year's festival boasted a very impressive line-up of bands. Below are some of my favourite photos of the bands I watched, but you will be able to view a lot more here soon:

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Mike Patton performs Laborintus II in Amsterdam

On June 18th, I was lucky enough to see Mike Patton perform a unique special performance in Amsterdam of Italian composer Luciano Berio's Laborintus II, followed by an avant garde jazz improvisation second half of the concert. Full review of the whole show with photos can be seen here:

Download festival

Download 2010 was good, but not as good as 2009, mainly being because of all the excitement about Faith No More reuniting and performing at Download 2009 was what made it so special for me and many others who I know who went. Plus the weather was much nicer last year!
This year we were lucky with the sun and cloud and no rain until it suddenly decided to change on the Sunday afternoon while I was watching The Damned Things on the second stage and the rain came. With soaking wet jeans and muddy feet (I wore flip-flops, so walking bare foot in the mud was better as they kept getting stuck!) I still stuck it out as I couldn't possibly miss Aerosmith, who I'd been looking forward to seeing all weekend.
Slightly disappointing line-up compared to 2009, but my highlights were still all the bands I'd planned to watch and they were all brilliant. Bullet For My Valentine proved they deserved the headline slot of the second stage Friday night and were fantastic. My overall favourite of the three days being an amazing Friday night show from ACDC, who had a special customized stage set up by a German crew who happened to be staying in the hotel I stayed in and they told me that it was going to be spectacular and it certainly was. 30 Seconds To Mars were awesome as always, Jared with a blonde mohawk dyed pink at the top! I watched all of their set, then ran towards the main stage to catch the rest of Rage Against The Machine.
Of course, they finished with their 2009 UK Christmas No. 1 Killing in the Name.
Sunday was supposed to be the best day for me, but when the rain came it wasn't pleasant and a lot of people left the site, but despite the mud and being wet, cold and hungry, I stayed on and enjoyed Motorhead, featuring a guest performance with Slash, Stone Temple Pilots and the amazing Aerosmith who rounded off the weekend with two of my favourite hits by them, Dream On and Walk This Way. Everyone was saying that they were a bit disappointed that they didn't do Dude Looks Like a Lady, but after almost 40 years together, Steve Tyler and the gang still put on a great show.

The giant bell which was part of ACDC's special unique stage set.
Above: The fireworks display after ACDC's performance was awesome. Below: ACDC frontman Brian Johnson

Jared Leto performing onstage on Saturday June 12th, 2010. Below: Jared and Shannon Leto in the Kerrang! signing tent.

Rage Against The Machine on the main stage on Saturday June 12th, 2010.